Yoga in Treating Sleep Disturbance in Cancer Survivors

Brief Summary

Official Title: “Yoga for Persistent Sleep Disturbance in Cancer Survivors”

RATIONALE: Yoga may help improve sleep, fatigue, and quality of life in cancer survivors.

PURPOSE: This phase II trial is studying how well yoga works in treating sleep disturbance in cancer survivors.

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design: Allocation: Randomized, Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
  • Study Primary Completion Date: June 2009

Detailed Clinical Trial Description



- Determine the efficacy of Hatha yoga in improving sleep quality in cancer survivors experiencing persistent sleep disturbance.


- Determine the efficacy of yoga in improving fatigue and quality of life (QOL) of cancer survivors.

- Determine if the positive effects of yoga on sleep are related to concurrent changes in fatigue and QOL.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to gender and sleep disturbance rating reported on the eligibility assessment questionnaire (≤ 5 vs > 5). Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 arms.

- Arm I: Patients receive standard care for 6 weeks. Patients may switch to the yoga intervention immediately after study completion.

- Arm II:Patients receive standard care for 2 weeks, followed by two 75-minute sessions of Hatha yoga per week for 4 weeks.

All patients complete Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory, Insomnia Severity Index, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue, Sleep Medication and Complementary and Alternative Medicine Usage, Symptom Inventory, Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory, Profile of Mood States, and Aerobic Center Longitudinal Study Physical Activity questionnaires at baseline and at study completion. Patients also wear an actigraph (a device worn on the wrist to measure activity level) for 1 week before and for 1 week after completion of study intervention. Patients also complete daily diaries for the duration of the study.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 400 patients will be accrued for this study.

Interventions Used in this Clinical Trial

  • Procedure: fatigue assessment and management
  • Procedure: management of therapy complications
  • Procedure: quality-of-life assessment
  • Procedure: sleep disorder therapy
  • Procedure: yoga therapy

Outcome Measures for this Clinical Trial

Primary Measures

  • Efficacy of Hatha yoga in improving sleep quality as measured by Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory and Insomnia Severity Index
    • Safety Issue?: No

Secondary Measures

  • Efficacy of yoga in improving fatigue and quality of life (QOL) as measured by Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue and Sleep Medication and Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Usage questionnaires
    • Safety Issue?: No
  • Efficacy of yoga in improving fatigue and QOL as measured by Symptom Inventory, Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory, Profile of Mood States, and Aerobic Center Longitudinal Study Physical Activity questionnaires
    • Safety Issue?: No

Criteria for Participation in this Clinical Trial


  • Diagnosis of any type of cancer
  • More than 1 primary cancer allowed
  • No metastatic cancer
  • Has undergone and completed all forms of standard treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy) within the past 2 to 24 months
  • Persistent sleep disturbance, as indicated by a response of ≥ 3 when asked to rate their sleep on an 11-point scale (0 is equivalent to no sleep disturbance and 10 is the worst possible sleep disturbance)
  • No diagnosis of sleep apnea


  • Able to read English
  • No prior or concurrent regular (≥ 1 day/week) participation in yoga classes or maintain regular personal practice of any form of yoga within the past 3 months


  • No concurrent cancer therapy with the exception of hormonal therapy (e.g., tamoxifen citrate) or monoclonal antibodies (e.g., trastuzumab [Herceptin®])

Gender Eligibility for this Clinical Trial: Both

Minimum Age for this Clinical Trial: 21 Years

Maximum Age for this Clinical Trial: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted for this Clinical Trial: No

Clinical Trial Investigator Information

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Rochester
  • Collaborator
    • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Karen M. Mustian, PhD, Principal Investigator, University of Rochester


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